Innovative Erbium doped fiber amplifiers for radiation and harsh environment
The overall objective of this project is to extend the operating conditions and lifetime of Er-Doped Fibre Amplifiers (EDFAs) for applications in car/airplane engines, submarines, spacecrafts and satellites, which require operation in harsh environments (including e.g. x-rays and gamma radiation). The activities presented in this proposal span from basic research to designing, fabricating and testing radiation-resistant fibres. The proposed research combines expertise in fiber-optics with nanomaterials, to improve and optimize the operating regime, stability and durability of EDFAs. It consists in synthesizing Erbium-doped nanoparticles, which exhibit superior resistance to gamma radiation, within commercial EDFAs. To activate the nucleation of Er dopant within the fiber core, we will use three complementary approaches: high temperature thermal treatments, UV/IR-lamp or laser irradiations, and e-beam annealing, all entering within the feasibility parameters of one industrial partner, MPB Technology Inc. Our approach also includes the growth of protective coatings on EDFAs, made of pure metal or polymer-metal mixtures, which is the specialty of our second partner, Plasmionique Inc. Finally, we will use analytical techniques supported by calculations and modelling, followed by testing under hard radiation exposure conditions, which will be specifically performed to reproduce the operating environment of spacecrafts. Our ultimate goal is the development of EDFAs using a fabrication process compatible with both MPB’s and Plasmionique’s facilities, for implementation in satellites and space explorer modules.